EPA overestimates tighter ozone standard benefits, study finds

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, July 28 -- US Environmental Protection Agency statements on health benefits from lowering the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards grossly misrepresent what EPA actually estimates as possible benefits from reducing public ozone exposure, a new study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute concluded.

“If based on ozone benefits alone, not one of EPA’s estimates of the benefits of reducing ozone to a tighter alternative ozone standard is as large as the costs of attaining that respective ozone standard,” the study by NERA Economic Consulting said. “All cost more than the ozone benefits they might provide.”

“The regulatory impact analysis is creating a misleading impression that the benefits would be reasonable,” said NERA Economic Consulting Senior Vice-Pres. Anne E. Smith, the study’s author, in a July 28 teleconference. “EPA’s own numbers show that the costs would be much greater than the benefits.” She was scheduled to meet with White House Office of Management and Budget officials later in the day.

“In fact, the ozone benefits would be small, and the costs of more stringent standards dwarf them,” said API Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Director Howard Feldman, who also participated. “No other rules could be more detrimental to economic growth, and they fly in the face of President Obama’s regulatory reform initiative.”

The study said EPA’s ozone benefits estimates from the proposed tighter standards does not consider that the agency has escalated those benefits by always including benefits due to ozone-related mortality. It said EPA’s independent scientific advisory committee found no causal link between ozone and mortality during its considerations, but the agency now presume that link as part of its reconsideration.

Despite this change that the scientific advisory committee does not support, “EPA’s net benefits estimates for ozone standards tighter than 0.75 ppm are all still deeply negative,” the study said.

Three main flaws
“In its analysis, EPA is unable to identify how the nation will comply with these new standards,” Feldman said. “EPA has proposed stringent new standards that are out-of-cycle, not supported by science, and would have devastating economic consequences. It should move forward with the normal 5-year review now under way.”

API has been working hard to change the administration’s mind, according to Khary Cauthen, the trade association’s government affairs director. “Our industry understands the value of air quality to our society, and has worked very hard over the years to reduce the emissions in the air we all breathe,” he said during the teleconference. “It is our hope that in the next month, the president will become involved and ask that this rule be pulled back and moved into the normal regulatory cycle.”

EPA does not even know how the new standards would be met, he continued. “Larger industries certainly would be more heavily impacted, but no business would remain untouched. The standards would be so close to background ozone levels that operations would close and business moved elsewhere,” Cauthen said. “This isn’t a recipe on how to rebuild an economy. All of this could affect the economic lives of millions of Americans. They need to know about the consequences and make their voices heard.”

Feldman conceded that EPA is not legally required to consider proposed regulations’ economic consequences, but added that they have to inform the agency administrator’s final decisions. “Past administrators have looked at how standards would be implemented, and have set them at attainable levels,” he said. “There’s no reason to move the goal posts now as we are trying to reach the present standard.”

API also announced that it is launching an advertising campaign to get citizens to telephone the White House and express concern about EPA’s proposed regulation. “You can’t work in a factory that was never built,” a print advertisement from the Coalition for American Jobs’ campaign says.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

BP trims capital budget by $4-6 billion

02/03/2015 BP PLC plans an organic capital expenditure of $20 billion in 2015, down from the previous guidance $24-26 billion. Total organic capital expenditu...

EPA suggests DOS reconsider Keystone XL climate impact conclusions

02/03/2015 The US Department of State might want to reconsider its conclusions regarding potential climate impacts from the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pip...

Kerry expects to receive other agencies’ Keystone XL reports soon

02/02/2015 US Sec. of State John F. Kerry said he expects to receive other federal agencies and departments’ reports soon on the proposed Keystone XL crude oi...

Union strike under way at US refineries, petchem plants

02/02/2015 The United Steelworkers Union (USW) has instituted a strike at nine US refining and petrochemical production plants following a breakdown in negoti...

Victoria extends drilling, fracing ban

01/30/2015 The new Victorian Labor government of premier Daniel Andrews has extended the coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and hydraulic fracturing ban in the s...

US Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL pipeline project

01/30/2015 The US Senate has passed a bill approving construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline by a 62-36 vote after 3 weeks of debate. Nine...

Pennsylvania governor reinstates state forest drilling moratorium

01/29/2015 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed an executive order fully reinstating a 2010 moratorium on new oil and gas leases in state forests and parks. ...

DOE could meet 45-day LNG export decision deadline, Senate panel told

01/29/2015 The US Department of Energy would have no trouble meeting a 45-day deadline to reach a national interest determination for proposed LNG export faci...

PHMSA outlines community steps to reduce pipeline incident risks

01/27/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released a guide to best practices for communities to reduce risks from pipeline inci...
White Papers

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

When Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

When Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected